Bi-Tone West 50th Anniversary Celebration

After months of planning by the committee, the vans began to arrive at Dowerin to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Bi-Tone West Coast Caravan Club. The “Keyboard Warrior” presents this report.

The unseasonal wet weather forced a last-minute change by the Dowerin Shire to accommodate the local cricket grand final, so we had to park in the soft Field Day Display ground. Soon after, mother nature unleashed a final downpour on the 33 vans.

At 4pm, under a large pavilion, 59 members gathered for happy hour. A further nine were expected to arrive the next day to give us a total 68 members to celebrate the anniversary. Following happy hour, 35 members headed to the Dowerin Hotel for a roast dinner buffet and dessert.

Friday was spent visiting the town’s shops and attractions. The baker was sold out, the Op Shop was kept busy, and the hardware store did very well when word got around it was closing down and everything was at bargain prices.

At happy hour the smart-looking new club jackets were handed out to all the members.

After a barbecue evening meal, we gathered to watch a video of historic club photos. Lyn Wright did a fantastic job compiling the hour-long presentation from hundreds of photos of the past 50 years. Memories flooded back for everyone as they recalled the crazy events and times long forgotten by many — dress-up nights, anniversary dinners and past disk bowls champions were all brought back to us, and well as sad reminders of loved members no longer with us.

Saturday morning tea was epic as Adrian Kowald spoke about the history of the club’s committee and acknowledged those who had put in many years of service.

Then it was off to the Dowerin Sports Club to set up for the big night. The venue was also busy with a local cricket grand final and pennant bowls competitions underway at the same time.

In the evening, it was time to dress up and celebrate. A three-course meal, with table service, and live music got under way. The food was excellent and the round-table setting ensured everyone was involved. A surprise gift of cold drinking cups, engraved with the club logo were handed out to everyone.

Club president Ken Proctor called up Pat and Laurie Hassett to cut the anniversary cake, which had been made and expertly decorated by Helen Thacker. After that, the four couples, who have been with the club for 40-plus years were called up to speak — Helen and Alan Thacker, Pat and Laurie Hassett, Faye and Bill Sibon and John and Maureen Cardew.

After dessert, the guitarist cranked it up and the dance floor was very quickly like a mosh pit. Dancing continued for the rest of the evening.

At Sunday’s morning tea, the final act of the weekend was for everyone to assemble wearing their new jackets for a historic group photo. As a group it looked fantastic and everyone shared a sense of pride.

Overall, it was a successful and memorable rally to celebrate this significant moment in the club’s history.